Mac Mini (Which One Do I Need?)

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by tiyoo, Mar 2, 2014.

  1. tiyoo macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2014
    #1
    So I design websites for a living and I have been getting a lot of issues with cross-browser styling and how Mac's render websites via PC's.

    I am looking for the cheapest solution possible and I have found a few options. I am wondering what the oldest OS I should be looking at getting to:

    1) Browse the Internet w/ Firefox
    2) Maybe put Dreamweaver on it (even if its an older version)

    I see a lot of PowerPC G4's on Craigslist and various other websites for around $150. I am wondering if that will be enough. Any help will be appreciated.

    Thanks
     
  2. jrsx macrumors 65816

    jrsx

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    Location:
    Tacoma, Washington
    #2
    You want Leopard OS and TenFourFox as a browser. Mac Mini G4s go for anywhere between $60-$200, so that's a reasonable price, although you might be able to find cheaper.
     
  3. tiyoo thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 2, 2014
    #3
    So you are saying that I would be ok with using a MacMini G4 even using something like FireBug?
     
  4. AmestrisXServe, Mar 2, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2014

    AmestrisXServe macrumors 6502

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    #4
    Would you please clarify what you mean by oldest OS?

    The Mini G4 series can run OSX 10.3, through 10.5, and possibly 10.2.

    If you want maximum compatibility with older systems, you will want to run an old version of Safari, and an old version of Firefox. TenFourFox is a newer browser, and will may accurately display how a website would look on an older Mac.

    10.3 with stock Safari, and a version of Firefox from 2002-2003, will give you the most information on how your designs will look on old hardware.

    I personally always try to keep designs compatible with systems from 1999 to the present: I would avoid Dreamweaver, if possible, as it can give you some rather skewed code. You would do better with Coda, writing code by hand, to ensure it is both cross-platform, and multi-era, compatible. If you run 103, or 10.4, you can also run Classic (MacOS 9), and check your designs in Navigator, from 2001.

    If you want to do this on 10.5, you will need to run Sheepshaver, as 10.5 does not support the 'Classic' environment.

    Adobe CS (a.k.a. CS1), that you can run on 10.3, 10.4, or 10.5, can export slices, that you can use, and generate HTML to edit, if you want some degree of automation in content design.

    I would also avoid any dynamic/auto-refreshing code, as that can break, or be a veritable pain to use, even on more modern systems. You should check your designs using a small Android device as well, for that has become a common web viewing device, and you will want your designs to work on that platform.

    My OS/Browser checklist is:
    MacOS 10.3/10.4: Firefox, Safari, IE, Webkit
    MacOS 9: Netscape, IE
    Windows XP: Firefox (v11), Chrome, IE
    Android: Mozilla/Webkit
    Linux: Firefox (v11), Chrome
    Other: I check some websites for compatibility with rather rare browsers, for non-mainstream OSes, beyond the scope of most designers.
     
  5. noodle654 macrumors 68020

    noodle654

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    #5
    Do not get a Mini, but if you have to don't pay more than $50 for a fully equipped one. Honestly they are very slow. You are better off getting a G5, they can be had for $50-150.
     
  6. gavinstubbs09 macrumors 65816

    gavinstubbs09

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    #6
    For anything PPC related these days a G5 is the way to go. A dual 2GHz would be great but a quad is well worth the extra chunk of change for the performance you gain and the multitasking abilities.
     
  7. jrsx macrumors 65816

    jrsx

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    #7
    Honestly, I think a G4 will suffice fine, as long as it is 1.0 GHz and up. My 1.33 GHz is just as fast as most $300 PCs out there, and I picked it up for a cool $50. :cool:
     
  8. tiyoo thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 2, 2014
    #8
    Well honestly I am a total noob when it comes to Mac's...I grew up on them because all small towns in Texas had Nasa throwaways but quickly got into PC's after high school. I now design websites and really just need a MAC that I can use Firefox/Firebug to figure out CSS Cross-Browser Styling issues that I am having.

    I would like to stay under $200 but I could go as high as $300 if I have to. I would like something that I could keep around for a couple of years just to browse the internet and debug stuff.

    By oldest OS I mean whats the oldest OS I should be looking for when looking for Mac computers that can browse the internet and debug.
     
  9. AmestrisXServe macrumors 6502

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    Feb 6, 2014
    #9
    I concur: If you have the space for a desktop system, the G5 is your best option. If you are very concerned regarding system footprint, that is when you want a Mini.

    You can buy a very powerful G5 (Dual 2.7GHz/Air-cooled, or Quad 2.5GHz/Liquid-cooled), with display, and accessories, for $300, or less. Which of these two you buy is your choice: The Quad has slightly better performance in some areas, but you likely only need an air-cooled dual system.

    Be sure to buy a 2.0GHz or better system, as they have eight RAM sockets, for an easy and inexpensive 8GB max-out, and they have PCI-X, instead of PCI-33.

    The G5 has dual SATA bays (SATA-I), three PCI-X sockets, and one AGP socket, plus built-in USB2.0, Firewire 400, Firewire 800, Digital Audio, etc..
     
  10. tom vilsack macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

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    Nov 20, 2010
    Location:
    ladner cdn
    #10
    I just bought the top G4 mini the other day (1.5GHz,64mb vid,bluetooth,wifi,1 gig (max) ram,120 gig ug harddrive) I probably over payed $100 cdn,but it's mint cond and came with all the original box,manuals,osx 4.2 dvd ect,and always wanted this one for my ppc collection.

    Apps run just fine (what I use,xpaint,seashore,mactubes,2004 office,vlc,safari,tenfourfox,camino)

    Browsing the internet is fine (just don't expect intel dual core,i3,i5 type page loads) also I find that while tenfourfox has the least issues when it comes to modern web pages it does kick the fan in the mini up way more then running just safari,so I find I use safari the most.

    Don't expect utube to run very well in safari,camino,or tenfourfox (which default doesn't support it) at best it will start slow and then your best bet is turning down to 360p or even better 240p.If you want to use utube the way to go is using app MacTubes and then download the video and watch in quicktime or something like vlc for ppc.

    I partitioned drive in half and run both Tiger and leopard (maybe Tiger is a tad bit faster,but find myself mainly using Leopard)

    Geekbench score for both versions is about 1000.


    Now with this all being said,if your going to use the mini to check web page design renders for mac computers,wouldn't it make more sense to buy a intel mini so that you can run latest firefox,chrome browsers! How is buying a ppc mini going to help you with page renders? (remember newer firefox and chrome are not supported and safari is also older version).Might make better sense to buy a older intel mini 1.83 or 2.0 core 2 dual.These can be had for $150-200ish and as far as speed goes,there simply way faster!
     
  11. tiyoo thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 2, 2014
    #11

    Wow, Quad for under $300? Is there anyway you could point me towards one online perhaps? I am going to be looking at a few places here in DFW (Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas) tomorrow such as discount electronics stores, craigslist, etc. What are some websites that you would recommend I look on?
     
  12. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #12
    Even that sounds high. It's difficult to sell a G5 these days, so I don't suggest overpaying for one.
     
  13. tiyoo thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 2, 2014
    #13
    $300 is too high for Quad G5?
     
  14. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    Aug 5, 2010
    #14
    yes. You should be able to find one for less than that. They are probably just uncommon where you live.
     
  15. AmestrisXServe macrumors 6502

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    Feb 6, 2014
    #15
    The last one that I was offered was a mere £100, or £50 with a trade-in of a non-working dual-G5.

    There is no single-source avenue for buying them: I suggest checking online classified adverts, such as Craigslist, and eBay on a regular basis.I bought a pair of 2.7GHz units for £90 recently, and no, they are not for sale. :D

    I still recall the ungodly price that I paid for one, new. it was the last new Mac that I purchased; everything since has been refurbished, at a tiny fraction of the retail price; some at only 5% of retail.

    They have bottomed out in price, due to the inability to run 'modern software', and the entire lack of support both from Apple, and from Apple resellers.

    That said, G5s are still amazing systems, and I use them as my primary workstations.
     
  16. tiyoo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2014
    #16
    Thank you for the information, I have been looking around for the following systems:

    Power Mac G5 'QuadCore' 2.5
    Power Mac G5 2.7
    Power Mac G5 2.5

    I think I am on the right track hopefully. I will post with updates on what I end up getting. If anyone else has ideas or one for sale in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, let me know. I need one ASAP. Again, all I need to be able to do is debug Cross-Browser styling issues....Secondary programs I would not mind having on there include Dreamweaver and Microsoft office/Excel
     
  17. noodle654 macrumors 68020

    noodle654

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    Location:
    Never Ender
    #17
    Quads should be $150 and less for fully equipped ones. Don't buy anything on eBay unless the seller is shipping it in the original box. Also, the Dual Processor 2.5 and 2.7GHz G5s are all liquid cooled along with the Quad. Keep this in mind.

    If you are scared of liquid cooling at all, the fastest air cooled G5 is the Dual Core (late 2005) 2.3GHz. Don't let people try to rob you on these, these are 10 year old computers with an absolutely dead architecture, $150 should be max for any PPC Mac. I'll keep a lookout, I was thinking about selling my fully equipped G5 soon ( :) )
     
  18. tiyoo thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 2, 2014
    #18
    Hey if you wanna sell your G5 let me know. The only problem I forsee is shipping because those bad boys are heavy. I am hopefully going to find one in the area today. Its actually pretty hard to find used computer stores here...weird.
     
  19. And macrumors 6502

    And

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    #19
    OP, I would say based on your initial mail that a G4 or G5 is not the right buy for you at all. You said you wanted a machine to test mac browsers but most are not actively supported on G4/G5 under leopard, don't you need something more up to date? You may be about to spend a lot of time fixing compatibility with a browser set used by about 1% (guess) of the OSX user base. Surely you should be getting something that can run mavericks to test up to date browsers. Even Apple doesn't support Safari now for PowerPC. Apologies if I have entirely misunderstood your requirements.
     
  20. gavinstubbs09 macrumors 65816

    gavinstubbs09

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    #20
    He's only making life better for us :)
     
  21. And macrumors 6502

    And

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    #21
    That all depends on which websites he's looking after! :p
     
  22. chrfr macrumors 603

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    Jul 11, 2009
    #22
    PowerPC browsers are not up to date and aren't valuable for testing your websites. Keep in mind that the newest PowerPC Mac is approaching 8 years old so what you learn in web development for these old computers isn't going to accurately translate into what the majority of Mac users will experience.

    You'd be better off doing all your development on an Intel Mac and running Windows (or whatever platform you now use) in a virtual environment, thereby giving you access to all modern browsers. That, of course, would cost far more than you mention here as your budget.
     
  23. SkyBell macrumors 604

    SkyBell

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    Texas, unfortunately.
    #23
    I think a bit of a clarification might be helpful; if the OP is trying to get help designing websites on older Macs like these PowerPC's, a high end G3/low-end G4 would be a bare minimum with 10.4 or 10.5, IMO. But, if he wants to better design for more current Macs, a PowerPC machine wouldn't likely be a wise choice, in which case this sub-forum is of little help. :eek:
     
  24. AmestrisXServe macrumors 6502

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    #24
    Isn't that the entire point here? The OP wants to ensure that whatever he designs, he reaches the widest possible audience, so he wants an older system to do design testing, and to ensure that older systems can view and use what he creates.

    That is precisely what I do: Why limit myself to a 30-to-55% share of the market, when all of this ultra-modern stuff is unnecessary, slows down loading time, engulfs system resources, and generally makes it impossible to use older systems to view your website.

    One of my mates has an American Express card, and I couldn't load a basic banking website to make an emergency payment for her; yet, the website for my bank works on my 10.3 Systems, AndroidOS, PalmOS (on my Treo), and goodness knows what else.

    The day that Yahoo Mail forces me to switch to their new UI, I will stop using their webmail. Forcing people to use newer browsers, and operating systems, limits your customer base, and is quite frankly, extremely rude.

    It may shock you, but older browsers can be less susceptible to attacks, because they can't execute some of the runtime code in scripts that may contain malware. On Linux, I run NoScript (and other tools), that make it nearly impossible to use many 'new' websites. I enable the absolute, bare minumum of site elements to use these websites.

    My BBS, Forum sites, web portal,s, and other websites are all compatilbe with browsers as old as those from 1998. A few browsers of that era (mostly 1996-1998) that can't execute Javascript 1.1, will have faults, but they are still usable.

    Isn't the most important factor in a website, that people can actually load it?

    Many of my websites even work in Lynx, as I ensure that I tag graphics for text-only browsers.

    I say, if you want to ensure compatibility with older systems, you are a fine person, who deserves a great deal of respect, for displaying a level of ethical integrity, rather than hopping on a railway to nowhere, for the sake of 'mod' features and functions, that you can do with older types of code, in exactly the same manner, that are ultimately more user-friendly.

    the new YM, for example, can no-longer open each message in its own tab. We call that kind of modification: Decontenting.
     
  25. Cox Orange, Mar 6, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2014

    Cox Orange macrumors 68000

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    #25
    The Dual 2,7GHZ one is liquid cooled, too, same as the Dual 2,5GHz btw.

    ---------------------------------------------
    I don't get what the OP searches for.

    Do you:
    1. want to make sites compatible to Mac-Users?
    - that would be 90% using Intel Macs that can run up to date Browsers. (9% maybe having Intel macs with older OSes).
    2. want to be sure that really EVERY Mac-User can display a site perfectly?
    - that is our 1% PPC-Users, here.

    In case 2. when you say rendering, you think of displaying the site as is. Just, so you don't wonder. PPC-Browsers can't handle Flash very well (hence workarrounds like TenFourFox with MacTubes and QT enabler). I just say that, so you know, that it is not an error in the site you coded. :)

    But we would welcome you, making the world more compatible for us Users of historic Macs. :D

    Btw. the recent version of TenFourFox has a problem with displaying some https pages, as I learned recently (I am not into coding stuff!!! Just what others explain to me).
    Here is the example http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1679382&page=5 (Ten4Fox 17 can, though).

    ---
    On the Mini thing. Aren't the G4 Minis restricted to 1GB of RAM? Also the graphics card will be inferior to an e.g. ibook G4 with 1,33 or 1,42GHz (both 1,5GB RAM). The costs should be the same, right?
     

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